austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

One look and I yelled ``Timber''

When someone walks into your path, what do you do? On consideration, probably you'd duck to the right, as if driving. And in Singapore, where driving is on the left? There seems a preference for the left. But Singaporeans are used to Westerners not noticing how they drive, so many duck right. Rather than be confused I learned to stand still.

So precisely how dopey do I have to be that, back in the U.S., I've taken to ducking to the left? Dumb enough that as I noticed this in the mall and started composing this essay, I kept ducking left. This isn't harmless; I'm bulky enough normal people may bounce off me like ping-pong balls off the Space Shuttle, threatening to send them flying into the Caricatures kiosk, inflicting great damage to someone's zany portraiture.

I'm also slightly outraged to learn the Activision ``retro'' game package is apparently beyond my laptop's capabilities. It's only the video card that's not up to it, but a 2002 iBook by rights should be up to playing anything an Atari 2600 did. I see the video card problem makes Tron 2.0, Zoo Tycoon, and something else (I forget what) now moot.

Trivia: Among the names Thomas Jefferson proposed for states to be carved from the Northwest Territory were Michigania, Illinoia, Assenisipia, and Polypotamia. Source: Measuring America: How the United States was Shaped by the Greatest Land Sale in History, Andro Linklater.

Currently Reading: Living Dolls: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life, Gaby Wood. I'm heartbroken. I knew Jacques de Vaucanson's mechanical duck couldn't really digest the food it ``ate'', but I always thought it mashed it up to ``excrete'' it. In truth it used separate systems. Also the duck's believed destroyed by fire, and its pictures are suspected of being of a counterfeit duck.


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